Democrats Oppose Blunt, Hancock’s Attempts to Weaken an Already Toothless Ethics Commission
~ Democrats call on Hulshof to denounce his own spokesman’s proposal ~
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Democratic Party today announced its opposition to a proposal from Gov. Blunt and his campaign spokesman, John Hancock, to weaken the Missouri Ethics Commission’s ability to enforce ethics violations by prohibiting the commission’s staff from generating complaints when they find instances of ethics violations.
When not serving as a spokesman for Gov. Blunt, Hancock also serves as spokesman for the gubernatorial campaign of Congressman Kenny Hulshof.
“We believe that ethics law should be strengthened in Missouri, not gutted,” said Jack Cardetti, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman. “It’s time for Kenny Hulshof to denounce efforts by his own campaign spokesman to weaken the ability for ethics watchdogs to hold politicians responsible. This backwards approach may make sense in Washington, but it’s just plain wrong for Missouri.”
According to an editorial in yesterday’s Kansas City Star, the reaction of Gov. Blunt’s campaign spokesman to a recent $15,000 ethics fine is to weaken the commission:
“Hancock says the Missouri legislature should teach the ethics group a lesson by passing laws that make it less inclined to investigate politicians.
“That’s the worst possible outcome of this disagreement between the commission and Blunt’s campaign about allegations that he accepted contributions over state limits and failed to correctly report use of a supporter’s motor home during the 2004 campaign.
“Unfortunately, the blame-it-on-the-watchdog approach may just work with the Missouri legislature, which is controlled by Blunt’s fellow Republicans.”